Hartlepool Council backs campaign to support care workers

From left, Edwin Jeffries, Hartlepool Unison Branch Secretary, Clare Williams, Unison Northern regional secretary, Coun Stephen Thomas, chairman of Hartlepool Councils Adult Services Committee and Jill Harrison, director of Adult & Community Based Services at Hartlepool Council.
From left, Edwin Jeffries, Hartlepool Unison Branch Secretary, Clare Williams, Unison Northern regional secretary, Coun Stephen Thomas, chairman of Hartlepool Councils Adult Services Committee and Jill Harrison, director of Adult & Community Based Services at Hartlepool Council.

Council chiefs have signed a declaration supporting care workers in Hartlepool.

Hartlepool Borough Council has become one of the first local authorities in the North East – and only the 35th nationally – to commit to Unison’s Ethical Care Charter.

This means the council has committed itself to working with the town’s care companies to help them offer alternatives to zero-hours contracts and to reflect travel time between home care visits in care workers’ pay.

Councillors have also pledged to work with care providers to help them move towards paying the living wage (£8.45 an hour) to all their employees.

The ethical care charter also commits councils to matching the length of visits to care needs and to helping ensure that those needing care see the same care workers regularly, benefitting both the staff and the people they care for.

Coun Stephen Thomas, chairman of the council’s Adult Services Committee, said: “I’m delighted we have signed up to the charter and this demonstrates that we are leading the way for better social care across the country.”

Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher, council leader, added: “The signing of this charter demonstrates the council’s commitment to all staff working in the care profession and the value placed on their working conditions.

“They truly are the cornerstone of our success and I am very proud of the rich mix of talent and expertise our staff possess.”

Clare Williams, UNISON Northern regional secretary, said: “Unison’s ethical care charter highlights the key role care workers play in society.”